Operational reserve: costs and considerations
Simpson, Joshua B.
Hussain, Rai A.
Hatch, William D.
Mortlock, Robert F.
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This research examines the costs and other considerations associated with the 2016 activation of approximately 200 U.S. Marine Corps Reserve personnel under 10 U.S. Code § 12304b. The goal of this research is to determine whether cost savings were generated by employing a Reserve Corps (RC) unit. This unit supported Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force–South and was the first incidence of the Marine Corps' use of the 12304b authority in a material way. Findings include relevant RC costs at approximately 132% of those of a hypothetical equivalent AC unit. The primary contributor to increased RC costs was the approximately $4.9M in pay and allowances required for RC members who were activated but not deployed. Secondary contributors of increased RC costs were $2.9M in operations and maintenance travel costs, followed by $364K in incremental RC costs. This research provides three recommendations. First, the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Programs, and Operations (PP&O), as the 12304b program manager, should include all categories of RC-relevant costs during the operating forces program review, program evaluation board, and Program Objective Memorandum working group. Second, the Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC, M&RA), should monitor the totality of relevant monetary and non-monetary costs for any future RC units activated under 10 U.S. Code § 12304b and communicate these findings to key stakeholders such as Programs and Resources, PP&O, Marine Forces Command, and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve. Finally, DC, M&RA should assess the benefits generated from RC units activated under 12304b authority and weigh these potential benefits against any additional RC unit costs.
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